36 People Were Shot In 36 Hours In Chicago

A 17-year-old girl killed Friday afternoon was among at least 36 people wounded in gun violence over the weekend in Chicago.

Gakirah Barnes, 17, was shot multiple times in the upper body Friday afternoon in the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood. She died about two hours later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in what was the first of four gunshot fatalities citywide over the weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Barnes’ mother, Shontell Brown, told the Chicago Tribune her daughter is the latest victim of “an ongoing war” playing out on Chicago’s streets.

“This is something that has become all too normal to everybody, and it needs to stop,” she told the paper.

Later Friday, 34-year-old Shannon Mack was fatally shot inside a car in South Shore, DNAinfo Chicago reports. Mack was pronounced dead at the scene.

DNAinfo reports 32-year-old Corey Brownlee and 20-year-old Joshua Martinez were fatally shot in separate incidents on the city’s south and southwest sides early Sunday.

In another shooting, 24-year-old mother of two Jasmine Martinez was shot in the head and chest while driving in Humboldt Park early Sunday. Martinez was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, where she remained hospitalized Monday, ABC Chicago reports.

The Tribune notes a total of at least 36 people were shot in as many hours over the weekend — between late Friday and early Sunday — whiletemperatures in the city soared to 80 degreesthe warmest weather the city has seen since last October.

While he did not comment on whether the summer-like temperatures were a factor in the high weekend violence, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement distributed to media outlets that “no one will rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety,” NBC Chicago reports.

"While Chicago continues to see reductions in crime and violence, there’s obviously much more work to be done and we continue to be challenged by lax state and federal gun laws," McCarthy said.

The weekend’s surge of violence in Chicago follows another bloody weekend during which 27 people were shot, including a 16-year-old high school sophomore who was killed.

Chicago police posted the lowest homicide total for the first quarter of the year since 1958 earlier this month, but the number of shooting incidents in the city has been steadily rising in recent weeks.

Dr. David J. Leonard: Black Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The Case of DeSean Jackson

DeSean Jackson was fired and few inside and outside the sports world were troubled by the decision from the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite ample success — 82 catches, 1,332 yards received, and nine touchdowns — and NO trouble off the field, the Eagles released Jackson. In a nation that prides itself on meritocracy, and in a sport where measurable performance is elevated as the be all and end all, the Eagles decision to go all Trumpish on Jackson is telling. While Sports Illustrated taunts the science of sports, and ESPN promotes a sporting culture where “numbers never lie,” the dismissal of Jackson, (and the muted backlash) highlights that value of his blackness cancels all those other numbers, whether it be wins or yards-after-catch.

Shortly before the Eagles sent Jackson packing, NJ.com published a report entitled,"DeSean Jackson’s gang connections troubling to Eagles." Citing LAPD sources (as if they are objective and without consideration of bias), and fears resulting from the Aaron Hernandez case, Jackson was seen as a liability because of his “gang ties.” “Ever since New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder last summer, NFL franchises have been reevaluating how closely they needed to watch their players away from the field,” wrote Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez in the NJ.com piece. “And what Eagles executives saw in Jackson, a six-year veteran, was apparently a potential blight on the brand and a bad influence in the locker room.” Never mind the fact that Hernandez’s arrest (paging, due process) is irrelevant, Hernandez’s purported gang ties have basically been a media creation. Forgot the fact that there has been "no proof Hernandez was in a gang," ignore the fact “there’s no proof of an NFL gang culture,” it continues to be used as justification for fears about Jackson, despite the lack of proof that he has any connection to gangs or criminal activity.

Without actual evidence, the NJ.com indicts Jackson because he is a known friend of known gang members who are known to have allegedly done bad things. Yes, DeSean Jackson’s crime is he befriends people (or remains friends with people) who may or may not be in gangs, who may or may not have been committed for crimes.

Relying on guilt by association and stereotypes, not to mention photos from his Instagram page and an unreported arrest for “possession of marijuana while driving, disturbing the peace and operating a car with materials that obstruct or reduce a driver’s view,” the NJ.com traffics in the accepted signifiers of blackness. The decision to release Jackson, on the heels of this report, points to the heightened legibility of his criminality beyond a reasonable doubt.

DeSean Jackson is not a gang member; he has made that clear and so have others, yet the criminalization of his body remains. Because of his association with “gang members,” because of his connection to South Central, Los Angeles, which in the dominant white imagination is the capital of GANGLAND and not Inglewood where he played little league, Long Beach, where he went to high school, or Berkeley, where he went to college, and because of the “company he keeps,” his criminalized body remains entrenched and, therefore, suspect.

In reality, neither his Instagram page nor his childhood zip code matters because within the dominant white imagination, black and criminal remain interchangeable. Studies about persistent implicit bias (see Alexander 2010), and the persistent of stereotypes (see Feagin 2010) demonstrate how “young + black + male is equated with reasonable suspicion (Russell 2007), justifying arrest, interrogation, search and detention” (Alexander 2010, p. 194). These many studies and polls, as well as countless others exploring the criminalization of African Americans, should not be surprising given the representations and discourses disseminated by academics, politicians, popular culture and sports.

Between the flowering of the civil rights movement and the Reagan years, the image of black youth in particular underwent an extraordinary transformation: The brave little girl walking up the schoolhouse door in the face of jeering white crowds was replaced by fearsome young black men coming down the street ready to take your wallet or your life. The cultural transformation of black youth from victims of injustice to remorseless predators was mirrored in public policies that quietly reduced funding for programs that had historically served minority youth (Brown et. al. 2003, p. 132).

Moreover, these shifting mediated representations of blackness rationalize and justify policies of surveillance, incarceration and discipline, whether in zero tolerance initiatives in schools, the war on drugs, mass incarceration efforts or the immediate dismissal of black athletes who fail a drug test. Blackness, in juxtaposition to whiteness exists as “a problematic sign and ontological position” (Williams 1998, p. 140).

In contemporary America a “secluded, camouflaged kind of racism” that ultimately “naturalizes black people as criminals,” (Davis 1997, pp. 270-271) not only leads to mass incarceration of black and brown youth but second chances for Jim Irsay, Josh Hamilton, Marshall Henderson and others afflicted with "affluenza." It leads to the redemptive narratives afforded to white youth (and their fathers, mothers and grandparents) in city after city, on team after team, amid the “thugification” of the NBA’s Ron Artest (Metta World Peace), Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, the Hawks’ Richard Sherman and now DeSean Jackson (now playing in D.C.)

The focus on Jackson’s choices and decisions, his production company, his sartorial choices and photo poses (One has to wonder when Justin Bieber, countless white college students, and even more high school students will be punished for Instagram photos of their flashing gang signs) ignores the real issues at work in terms of the criminalization of black bodies. One has to look further than the number of black youth punished in recent weeks because it LOOKED like they were flashing gang signs.

While criminalized and illegible as anything but a criminal (Neal 2013), black athletes are also routinely demonized for “selling out,” for refusing to give back and be role models. The hyper focus on the types of community service, foundation work, political involvement, or connection to community fits within a broader framework that consistently imagines today’s black athletes as selfish, materialistic and narcissistic. Still, Jackson’s work within the community, his refusal to sever ties with those “left behind” by hurricane deindustrialization and the great neoliberal storm, his interest in mentoring those swept away in the “New Jim Crow” is seemingly not imagined as activist, political or community service work, but criminal misconduct. The uplifting black body, the person dedicated to enriching and empowering others, is re-imagined as another criminal.

Despite often celebrating athletes like DeSean Jackson for pulling themselves up by their laces, for living the American Dream, Jackson’s refusal to sever ties (cultural, physical, communal) has seemingly been used as evidence of a level of pathology. The usefulness of the “ghetto” within the constructs of the American Dream is limited to the past, to its symbolic place as a point of departure; its ideological utility exists because it is not the present, it is where Jackson came from (and left) on his road to the American promise land.

The constant references to his “inability to sever ties,” despite the potential ramifications, reflect the pathologizing of Jackson, as if this decision reflects bad judgment that COULD have severe consequences. In refusing to turn his back on his family and friends, on his community, Jackson refuses the narrative of success resulting from escape, from living in a new world, and from starting over.

Jackson demonstrates the power of these indexes of blackness — the criminal, the pathological, and the culturally deficient. “But DeSean Jackson is the menace, right? He’s just as bad as those guys he parties with because he threw up a Crip sign in a picture and he owns a gangsta rap record label,” writes Richard Sherman.

If only all record label owners were held to this standard, somebody might realize that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg weren’t the bosses behind NWA. Jim Irsay lookalikes in suits were. But go ahead and judge DeSean for the company he keeps. While you’re at it, judge me, too, because I still live in Los Angeles, and my family does, too. We didn’t run from where we grew up. We aren’t afraid to be associated with the people who came up with us. We brought some of our money back and started charities and tried to help out a few guys who were with us when we were [nobody].

The realities of anti-black racism is that irrespective of Jackson’s friend list, irrespective of Sherman’s post-game comments, irrespective of iPod playlists, childhood zip codes, tattoos, or driving infractions, the black body is always suspect. The suspect and criminal black body necessitates action, whether that be a fine, a suspension, public denunciation, or dismissal.

This is bigger than DeSean Jackson or the NFL. In a nation where black youth are routinely stopped and frisked because they “fit a profile,” where black youth are suspended and expelled for “criminal behavior” otherwise imagined as “horse play” from white kids, where whites with felony convictions are more likely to secure a job than blacks with a clean record, what happens to DeSean Jackson matters.

_____

Piece Originally published at New Black Man (In Exile)

Works Cited:

Alexander, M. (2010). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press.
Brown, M.K., Carnoy, M., et. al. (2003). Whitewashing race: The myth of a color-blind 
society
. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Davis, A.Y. (1997). Race and criminalization: Black Americans and the punishment 
industry. In Waheema Lubiano (Ed.), The House that Race Built (pp. 264-279). 
New York: Vintage Books.
Feagin, J.R. (2010). The white racial frame: Centuries of racial framing and counter-framing. New York: Routledge. 
Williams, P.J. (1997). Seeing a color-blind future: The paradox of race. New York: 
The Noonday Press.

(Source: The Huffington Post)

A group of young Black and Latino men are letting the world know that they are far from the image of violent, uneducated and unkempt individuals that the media often makes them out to be.

Dressed in suits, button-down shirts and bow ties while serving plenty of bravado, 34 juniors and seniors from Illinois’ Central High School recently created a short video called “Suit & Tie In The 217″ to combat the negative stereotypes they face regularly — and we love every second of it!

Set to Justin Timberlake’s hit song “Suit & Tie,” the fellas show off their superb style while the messages “we are not gangsters and thugs,” “we are employees and volunteers,” “we are scholars” and “we are athletes” appear across the screen. To be specific, they are Honor Roll students, poets, future collegiate athletes and National Honor Society members, just to name a few of their talents and accomplishments.

“The negative stories told daily in the media and in our culture about our young African-American men tend to ignore their successes and don’t tell the full story about how young Black men are becoming leaders within our community schools,” Tiffany Gholson, a Central High School counselor that helped with the project, told NewsOne.

Between Obama’s new initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, this awesomely viral video and countless other groups and individuals attempting to reclaim the narrative of young black men — we’re hopeful the mission will be accomplished.

Check out the amazing video above and let us know what you think about it in the comments section.

(Source: The Huffington Post)

This Woman Was Killed While Dancing With A Cop — And Her Family Wants The Case Reopened

Adaisha Miller was killed while dancing with an off-duty Detroit police officer in 2012 when his department-issued gun accidentally discharged, striking her in the heart. Photo via RIP Adaisha Miller Facebook page.

The family of a woman who was accidentally killed by a police officer is asking for the case to be reopened after he was cleared of charges.

On a Saturday in July of 2012, Adaisha Miller attended a fish fry hosted by Detroit Police Officer Issac Parrish at his home in the city. Miller, 24, was celebrating — she would have turned 25 the following Monday.

Parrish was off-duty, but wearing his gun. While Miller was dancing with him that night, the weapon accidentally discharged, puncturing her lung and striking her in the heart. She died after she was taken to a hospital.

"All my daughter did was try to enjoy her 25th birthday. Now, instead of planning her 25th birthday party, I have to plan her funeral," Miller’s mother Yolanda McNair told WXYZ-TV at the time.

Both the Detroit Police Department and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Officeconducted investigations into the incident, according to the Associated Press. The prosecutor’s office decline to press charges.

Earlier this year, Deputy Police Chief Rodney Johnson told the AP that Parrish, 40, was never suspended or taken off-duty, though he was temporarily assigned to desk duty following Miller’s death.

But Miller’s family, unsatisfied with the results of the investigations, is asking Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to reopen the case. In a petition on Change.org, they wrote that a “thorough, unbiased” investigation was “not conducted and that there was a blatant disregard for due process, policy and procedures in regards to timely disclosure of evidence, information and results.”

The petition goes on to state that the family learned from the local news that the investigation had ended, and complains that Miller’s family and friends were never interviewed.

"We feel that you should professionally revisit this case or ask an outside entity to conduct one for you," they wrote.

The petition had about 300 signatures as of Monday morning.

adaisha miller

Eddie Miller, left, looks at Yolanda McNair as she holds a picture of their daughter, Adaisha Miller, in Detroit, Monday, July 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Mike Householder)

McNair told WJBK-TV she started the petition because authorities have “dropped the ball.”

"Why wouldn’t they agree that he was negligent?" McNair asked. "I’m not saying that he set out to kill my daughter, but he wasn’t being a responsible adult, either."

Then-Police Chief Ralph Godbee characterized the shooting as a "very tragic and unfortunate incident, but nothing intended at all."

Preliminary police findings shortly after Miller’s death showed that she had “embraced” Parrish while dancing behind him before his department-issued gun accidentally discharged. Godbee said at the time that they found no indication that the officer had touched his gun. He also said that on department-issued weapons like Parrish’s, the "safety is built into the trigger." Parrish carried his in a soft waist holster, Godbee said, which could allow the trigger to still be manipulated.

Wayne County Prosector’s Office spokeswoman Maria Miller told The Huffington Post in an email Monday that their position has not changed.

"The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an extensive independent investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Adaisha Miller and concluded that the evidence would not support charging the off-duty police officer," Maria Miller said. "We do not plan to re-open the case."

Gordon Braxton: How It Feels When White Women Cross to the Other Side of the Street

I heard a comedian joke about how black men were once required to step aside when they crossed paths with white women on the street, but now it seems that white women are always the ones to cross the street when they pass us in public. I can relate to the experience of white women speeding up, altering their paths, clutching their belongings or casting wary glances in my presence. Because I am of average height and know these experiences all too well, I suspect that this ritual is a familiar one to many black men regardless of upbringing or physical stature.

In the opening words of his classic The Souls of Black Folks, W.E.B. Du Bois speaks of a “twoness” possessed by African-Americans — a perpetual dual worldview brought on by self-identification as both Americans and African-Americans. Du Bois wrote within a context that is far different from the one in which I write, but few things force me to consider my own “twoness” more than a white woman taking protective action in my presence.

There is my one consciousness that is furious when this occurs. It screams that I am not violent, and this woman has no right to consider me as such based on a limited encounter. In an instant, it convinces me that this woman knows black men only through caricatures rather than actual contact. It inspires defiance and hints that black men will never escape tired stereotypes no matter the walk that we choose.

Then, there is a second consciousness that is aware of the massive levels of gendered violence committed by men of all races. It knows that men have not historically been at the table in order to combat this violence and so it can hardly blame women who individually or collectively take action in response to the threat of violence. It inspires introspection and encourages me to interrogate the ways in which I may be contributing to cultures that produce violence and fear.

Each consciousness arises instantaneously when provoked. Each is visceral. Each leaves me longing for spiritual successors to Du Bois that might provide some insight on reconciling dueling worldviews. I know where to turn when looking for exemplars of manhood who stand against the demonization of black men. I have plenty of those kinds of colleagues and heroes. Over the years, I have even discovered quite a few male colleagues who are taking up the challenge of living in opposition to cultures that produce violence against women. It is finding colleagues that are committed to the eradication of both racial injustice and gendered violence that is the tougher challenge. Most often I encounter men who emphatically support one cause at the expense of the other but both causes are necessary. The community of men that recognize this certainly exists but is far from mature so those of us who wrestle with dueling perspectives can expect isolation and confusion at times. Fortunately, Du Bois and his powerful contemporaries left behind proof of the change that can come from sustained action for social justice in a world where the majority position often leaves you in search of a home.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Take Back the Night in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To learn more about Take Back the Night and how you can help prevent sexual violence, visit here. Read all posts in the series here.

Need help? In the U.S., visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline operated byRAINN. For more resources, visit theNational Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

Rachel Hampton: Essence Magazine Promotes “Natural” Beauty in the Black Community

On a Tuesday afternoon my Instagram timeline was flooded with afros, locks, and pops of color as Essence Magazine premiered their covers for the May 2014 issue of the publication. Essence, a premiere lifestyle, fashion, and beauty magazine for Black American women, has already made waves with its “Natural Beauty” issue featuring three different covers with today’s leading female R&B powerhouses — Erykah Badu, Solange Knowels, and Ledisi.

The uniquely stylish women have created a buzz promoting natural style and confirming that standing out is indeed popular. As a young woman with a head full of curls and brown skin, it is both refreshing and inspiring to have such celebrities showcase a new, improved, and unique definition of beauty. Each songstress has an undeniable ability to create her own light rather than standing in the shadows of others.

"We all have the option of how we want to express ourselves through our life, hair, style, or whatever we decide," Solange said on her evolving style. "We shouldn’t be pigeonholed into any one category."

The issue’s three covers effortlessly appeal to the many tastes in music that Black women may have. From Erykah Badu’s evolving neo-soul sound, to Solange’s funky electric beats, and back to Ledisi’s jazz influenced vocals and lyrics — there’s a woman for everyone on Essence’s May 2014 covers.

I applaud the publication on its endeavor to begin the conversation on natural beauty. “Pretty” goes beyond European style features and Brazilian imported tresses; it starts with a Black woman’s kinks sprouting from her roots and raw individuality. More often than not do Black young women see only one perception of beauty, one that features blue eyes and long blonde hair. To type in “beauty” on a Google image search and see someone who does not look like you is not only discouraging and untrue, but very effective and influential. So many woman of all shapes, sizes, and hues battle with self-identity and confidence because of the combative portrayals of beauty in today’s media. These women in conjunction with Essence are working to combat that.

As a proud naturalista, I think this issue is amazing and needed in not only the Black community, but in all communities. I will be picking up my copy (perhaps one of each) and hope you will too!

(Source: The Huffington Post)

Jamie Masada: Colbert? Another White Guy?

I was bothered by Thursday’s announcement that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman. I don’t have any issues with him personally. But I do have issues with being in a country of over 300 million people who are not all white, who don’t all live in — or near — Manhattan, who are not all college educated, and who are not all males. But you never would know that if you’re relied on the executives from NBC and CBS.

It’s a good feeling to know that the networks’ days are numbered, in my humble opinion, as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon begin to pick up subscribers and fewer and fewer people even have television or cable. Now NBC and CBS want to have late night shows filmed 10 blocks from each other in the center of Manhattan. Their attitude reminds me of the old Saul Steinberg poster where 9th and 10th Avenues are prominent and China, Russia, Nebraska and Japan are small places elsewhere that don’t mean much. I guess this suits one fine if you are a New Yorker, but it doesn’t seem to be the best guide when programming a show for 300 million people.

Who we see is important and what they say is important. What does it say that we have five white males in their 40s night after night? Is that the only point of view we have for the end of our day? Can you imagine if they gave the show to Dave Chappelle? The CBS executives can’t. When Chappelle passed on his Comedy Central offer — of 50 million dollars — he sat down with me many nights, and would talk of how he was in front of 10,000 people and knew how to make them laugh, but he resented the white executives in three-piece suits sitting in a room telling him what was funny.

There are so many other talented minority comedians and female comedians who could easily do this job with a new voice. Comedians like Chris Rock, Tiffany Haddish, Finesse Mitchell, Chris Spencer, Jamie Foxx, Sunda Croonquist, even Paul Rodriguez or Tony Rock, would bring a new view to the late night game and millions of people wouldn’t feel left out.

The most important thing for any host at late night is they be a stand-up comic, because stand-up comics really know what can get a laugh day in and day out. Johnny Carson was a stand-up who encouraged the form by booking numerous comics on his show — two of them became late show hosts. Stand-up comics are the “ground troops” of the art form. They have been in clubs or bars or halls, and they have hundreds of nights behind them performing for a live audience. They know the audience and they know what they like. They have also learned the fine art of answering hecklers or being fast on their feet. There are over 100,000 performers in the actors union. The number of comics performing regularly at a high level numbers under 100. That’s why I call them doctors of the soul; we need doctors of the soul to put us to sleep with a smile on our face.

Colbert has a few years of sketch comedy in his background, but that’s a far stretch from the locales frequented by Leno and Letterman during their rise to stardom. Now, we have executives picking people like Colbert and Conan because of their pedigree on television, not because of their work in the trenches.

(Source: The Huffington Post)

This One Chart Tells You Everything You Need To Know About Inequality In Hollywood

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Last year was a pivotal one for Black Hollywood, with the release of several filmshighlighting black history and the black experience. And though the feat led to a major increase in African-American movie attendance and “12 Years A Slave” even netting top honors at the Academy Awards, the question remains: How long will this last? Will other filmmakers continue this trend for years to come?

Director Malcolm D. Lee has some advice on that front.

“Just keep making quality movies. There’s been some really, really good movies over the past, I would say 18 months from African American filmmakers, and they’re not just African-American filmmakers that are telling parts of the African-American experience,” he said during a November 2013 interview with the Huffington Post. “’42’ was not a black director or writer, one of the producers was black. But it was a really good movie…It just shows diversity and a wealth of choices that we can finally have as moviegoers. It’s not just, ‘Oh, let’s go see the black movie.’”

“And they should be in the genre that they belong in. There’s comedies, there’s musicals, there’s dramas, there’s historical dramas, there’s indies… This is a great, great thing. Let’s keep making movies that will be better than the ones that just came out. Let’s keep raising the bar. We’ve been in this place before where we’ve seen a wealth of movies come out, but they tend to be one genre.”

Getting at Lee’s point about the history of black films, the New York Film Academyrecently released an infographic highlighting the advances and obstacles that have affected black filmmakers over the past century.

While it highlights some of the great strides made by blacks in Hollywood recently, it also shows just how far we still have to go.

Check out the informative graphic below.

New York Film Academy takes a look at black inequality in film
Courtesy of: New York Film Academy

Jay Z Sparks Controversy With Five Percent Nation Bling

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During a recent Knicks game at the Barclays Center, Jay Z sported a Five Percent Nation medallion, sparking outrage and general confusion about whether reverse racism is a thing (spoiler: it definitely isn’t). The impractically-sized necklace is a symbol for the group, which was founded in 1963 by Clarence 13 X, when he broke from the Nation Of Islam.

Although there are no direct comments about white people in the tenets of Five Percent Nation, their public perception is certainly affiliated with not really loving white folks or, as Michael Muhammad Knight explained in an essay for Vice, “The first lesson I learned from the Five Percent was simple: F—k white people. Seriously. White people are devils.”

As NPR explained in a 2006 article on the group, the founding concept is that “Ten percent of the people of the world know the truth of existence, and those elites opt to keep 85 percent of the world in ignorance and under their controlling thumb.” Other essential ideas include the belief that “black people are the original people of the planet Earth” and “the fathers and mothers of civilization.”

This is not the first time Jay Z has worn the eight-pointed star with the number seven in the middle. The Christian Post reports that he wore the symbol while promoting “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” It has also been noted that the phrase “Peace God” in “Run This Town” is likely a nod to Five Percenters.

According to the Post, when asked whether the symbol had meaning for him, Jay Z said, “A little bit.” So, this is obviously a dogmatic commitment deserving of controversy. He is not, however, officially affiliated with the group. “Jay Z is not an active member — no one has vouched for him,” Saladin Allah, a representative of the group said to The Post. “It was always understood that you don’t wear the ­regalia if you don’t totally subscribe to the life.”

Additionally, for people who know anything about basketball: apparently Carmelo Anthony also thinks white folks are devils (or at least has controversial taste in jewelry).

(Source: The Huffington Post)

Dartmouth Students Take Over President’s Office, Demand Response To Freedom Budget

A group of Dartmouth College students staged an overnight sit-in Tuesday at the office of the Ivy League university’s president, demanding a point-by-point response to a list of action items the protesters say will address a variety of issues on the campus.

The activists unveiled a Freedom Budget in February with over 70 specific actions they want the Dartmouth administration to take to address students’ concerns over diversity, perceived sexism and the campus climate for minorities and the LGBT community. Students entered President Phil Hanlon’s office Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. asking for a point-by-point response, following what they felt was a half-heartedstatement about their budget from Dartmouth a day before finals on March 6.

"None of those points are just thrown in there because we thought they should be there," Jillian Mayer, a Dartmouth senior, said in a phone interview from Hanlon’s office. "People spent a lot of time building this Freedom Budget. I am not willing to prioritize certain things over others when all of these issues work towards the same goal."

The Freedom Budget’s items include hiring more racial minorities as faculty, implementing more gender-neutral housing and bathroom options, banning the term “illegal immigrant,” evaluating the Greek system’s role in sexual assault, and harsher punishments for those who commit sexual violence.

More than 30 students were part of the protest, with fewer than 10 staying overnight in Hanlon’s office and another dozen outside of it in the administration building. The rest rejoined in the morning, and around 75 participated in a protest in front of the building Wednesday afternoon.

Dartmouth administrators quickly moved to declare that they would not offer a detailed response to the protesters’ demands. Hanlon and Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson met with the protesters Tuesday to try to persuade them to leave, at one point suggesting the president’s power was mainly related to soliciting donations.

"The president’s top, sort of, chief responsibility, is chief fundraiser, right? So Phil’s out a lot," Johnson told the protesters, who livestreamed and transcribed the exchange. “He’s raising money for the institution. He’s out cultivating donors. That’s what we hired him for. That’s what presidents do.”

Hanlon followed up Wednesday with a campus-wide email about the student activists’ concerns:

Their grievance, in short, is that they don’t feel like Dartmouth is fostering a welcoming environment. I met with these students yesterday and again today, and I deeply empathize with them. I made it clear, however, that meaningful change is hard work. Progress cannot be achieved through threats and demands. Disrupting the work of others is counter-productive. Academic communities rest on a foundation of collaboration and open dialogue informed by respectful debate among multiple voices.

Hanlon also met with protesters Wednesday to reiterate the message and confirm the college will conduct a campus climate survey, as recommended earlier by theCommittee on Student Safety and Accountability made up of faculty, students and staff.

The protest is the latest in a series of actions students at the school have taken over the past year calling attention to social issues on campus.

Last April, a group of students calling themselves Real Talk Dartmouth demonstrated against racism, homophobia and sexual assault at an event for prospective students. Those protesters, some of whom are currently involved in the Freedom Budget, faced death and rape threats after their demonstration, prompting the college to cancel classes.

Dartmouth senior Anna Winham, who was involved in both demonstrations, said she was inspired to join the protests after she felt the campus mishandled her sexual assault case. Dartmouth’s handling of sexual violence is currently under federal review.

Fellow senior Aby Macias said students have exhausted more “appropriate” channels for enacting change. Macias said she joined the protest after she attended a student dinner party with Johnson to discuss sexual violence on campus that simply resulted in a plan to distribute water and pizza at Greek houses to keep people from getting too drunk.

Christian Nakazawa, a freshman protester, noted the group is not assigning blame to every house or every member of the Greek system. But as the campus climate stands currently, “I would not be comfortable with my younger sister coming here,” he said.

Dartmouth has annoucned a $3.6 million plan for a Triangle House, meant as a safe haven for LGBT students and allies. It is also moving toward a tougher sexual assault policy, and spent $1.1 million on initiatives devoted to sexual assault, high-risk drinking and campus climate in the last three years.

"I think the Dartmouth students’ main critique is we’re being rude," Winham said, describing to how some students have reacted to the protesters."Racism is more than just rude, sexism is more than just rude, sexual assault is more than rude. If I have to be rude in order to protect my body and myself and my friends, then I must be rude."

Read a copy of the Freedom Budget in its entirety below:

The Plan for Dartmouth’s Freedom Budget: Items for Transformative Justice at Dartmouthby thednews